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Causes and Risk of Alzheimer - Essay Example

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Summary
It is a form of dementia common in old people. This disease has no known cause but only speculations and hypothesis exist of what may cause it. One of such hypothesis about its cause is the cholinergic hypothesis which suggests the…
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Causes and Risk of Alzheimer
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Discuss the causes and risk of Alzheimer Affiliation: Causes Alzheimer is a disease that affects the brain. It is a form of dementia common in old people. This disease has no known cause but only speculations and hypothesis exist of what may cause it. One of such hypothesis about its cause is the cholinergic hypothesis which suggests the cause as being a reduction of the synthesis of acetylcholine neurotransmitter; this in turn leads to neuroinflammation (Turkington and Mitchell, 2010).
The other proposed hypothesis is the amyloid cascade hypothesis which suggests that the disease emanates from the excess production of the brain protein ABeta which causes formation of structures known as plaques which damage brain cells and even causes them to shrink. There is also another hypothesis which suggests that breakdown of age-related myelin causes damage to the brain.
Risks
One of the risk factors of this disease is the age of an individual. People who are over 65 years are more likely to get the disease than those below this age. The other risk factor is genes. Individuals who have a family history of Alzheimer’s are also among the risk group to get the disease later on in their lives. This is because the disease is genetic (Turkington and Mitchell, 2010).
Other than the two risk factors mentioned above, there are also others like the gender of an individual. According to statistics of the disease, women are more at risk of acquiring the disease than men. This is not as a result of age but speculated to be as a result of estrogen. Individuals who have suffered head injuries in the past are also at risk of getting the disease more than those who have no history of head injuries in the past.
References
Turkington, C. and Mitchell, D. R. (2010). The Encyclopedia of Alzheimers Disease. New York: Infobase Publishing. Read More
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